Communities worry as people flush toilet paper alternatives

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) Because of the overwhelming lack of available toilet paper, people are finding alternatives like baby wipes and paper towels. And those could cause some problems.

The Plattsburgh Wastewater Treatment Facility says it's not ideal to flush anything other than toilet paper down the sewage pipes because other things can block sewage lines.

Because they understand the situation, crews are proactively watching for anything that could cause major backups.

"What it does is loads up our bar screen and can limit or interfere with the flow that comes into the plant, but we have staff handling that, our equipment is automatic for racking and trying to keep that debris-free. It's just a nuisance and it complicated our treatment process but we'll deal with it if we have to," said Jonathan Ruff, the city's environmental manager.

The city of Plattsburgh says it's best to throw away the baby wipes and paper towels instead of flushing them.